Indefinite Leave to Remain – Passing the English Language and Life in the UK Test
Congratulations! You have completed the necessary time required on a particular visa or Immigration route and you are ready to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. According to your Immigration lawyer, you meet all the necessary residency requirements, having done your best to ensure you have spent the required amount of time in the country, now only two things stand in your way of making Britain your permanent home.
The English language and Life in the UK Test.
You may have heard various horror stories about these tests, particularly the one concerning Life in the UK. However, with knowledge and preparation, you should find the tests relatively straightforward to pass and quickly be able to obtain your Indefinite Leave to Remain status.
The purpose of the English language and Life in the UK test
Having Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK means you plan to make Britain your permanent home and perhaps even apply for British Citizenship. Therefore, it is important that you can speak, read and write English to a degree that you can work and participate in the community. By passing the Life in the UK test, you are demonstrating to Home Office officials that you have a reasonable understanding of UK history, its culture and laws, proving that you are committed to integrating into the British society.
Taking the English language test
According to the UK Government website, you can prove your knowledge of English by either:
- passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening
- having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree
You won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of the following countries:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- the Bahamas
- New Zealand
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
The UK government website provides a list of approved English language test providers. It is best to sit your test with one of these institutions, otherwise your application for Indefinite Leave to Remain may be denied.
Where to sit the Life in the UK Test
You can either take the Life in the UK Test online via the official government website or at one of the 60 test centres in the UK. If you are planning to sit the test in one of the centres, you must choose one of the five that are closest to where you live. Failure to do so will result in you not being able to sit the test.
The test will cost £50 and must be booked at least three days in advance.
To book the test you will need to provide one of the following forms of ID:
- passport - it can be out of date
- UK photo card driving licence - full or provisional
- convention travel document (CTD), certificate of identity document (CID) or stateless person document (SPD)
- EU identity card
- Immigration status document endorsed with a UK residence permit on a passport with a photo - it can be out of date
- biometric residence permit
Preparing for the test
To study for the test, you can purchase a book called, Life in the UK: A Guide for New Residents. At the time of writing this cost £12.99. It covers all the material that may be included in the Life in the UK Test, therefore, it is advisable that you study it carefully.
You will be given 45 minutes to answer 24 questions and to pass you must get 75% of the answers correct. If you fail you can re-take it as many times as required; however, you will need to pay £50 for every time you need to re-sit the test.
People who do not need to take the Life in the UK Test to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain
You will not need to take the Life in the UK Test if:
- you are under 18 years
- you are over 65 years
- you have passed the test once
You do not need to feel daunted about meeting the English language requirement and passing the Life in the UK Test in order to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. An experienced Immigration solicitor will be able to provide you with the best advice and make the necessary appeals should your application for Indefinite Leave to Remain fail.
OTS Solicitors is one of the most respected immigration law firms in London. Our immigration team dealing with settlement matters comprises of Smit Kumar, Hans Sok Appadu and Maryem Ahmed, all of whom would be happy to talk to you about applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
By making an appointment with one of our Immigration solicitors, you can be assured of receiving some of the best legal advice available in the UK today.
If you wish to discuss any of the points raised in this blog, please phone our London office on 0203 959 9123.